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Ben and Tyler Ed 100 Synthesis Assignment
Transcript of Ben and Tyler Ed 100 Synthesis Assignment
as Learners and
Professional Identity: Who You Are as a Teacher
Issues in Education and Teachers Acting as Agents of Change
Structures and Bodies that govern Education
Previous Knowledge and Experience
The notion of reflective teaching discussed in our class comes from the Grant and Zeichner article, "On Becoming a Reflective teacher" (1984). In this article Dewey's three pre-requisites for reflective teaching are discussed (Grant & Zeichner, 1984, p. 105). These include open-mindedness, that is "an active desire to listen to more sides than one", responsibility, being aware of the consequences of your actions, and wholeheartedness, believing in reflection always and for every student (Grant & Zeichner, 1984, p. 105-107).
The spectrum of educational philosophies was established by Martin and Loomis (2007). When placed in the educational philosiphy continuum, from teacher focused to student focused, these styles are; perrenialism, essentialism, progressivism, social reconstructivism and existentialism (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 56). Perrenialism focuses on "univeral truths conveyed through the classic and profound thoughts and works" (Martin & Loomis 2007, p. 46). Essentialism attempts to prepare students with the basic and "essential" skills for their lives (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 48). Progressivism attempts to focus on the student and the creation of "lifelong learners" (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 50). Social reconstructionists believe that schools should most importantly serve as agents in the reformation of society (Martin and Loomis, 2007, p. 53). Finally, existentialists push progressive views further, and believe the teacher should be a guide to student-directed learning (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 52).
Martin and Loomis wrote about educational psychologies and philosophies
Martin and Loomis document the predominant educational psychologies in "Your Philosophy of Education" (2007). The psychologies they discuss are humanism, behaviorism, info-processing and constructivism (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 59). Humanism "focuses on the need for personalization to achieve meaningful learning" (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 59). Behaviorists believe in the importance of conditioning responses through action and reaction (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 60). Info processing deals with the mental processes and encoding of knowledge and constructivism deals with the idea that worthwhile learning happens when new experiences are built off of past knowledge (Martin & Loomis, 2007, p. 60).
Marleen Pugach writes about the prior knowledge about teaching that we, as pre-service teachers, bring to the classroom (Pugach, 2009, p. 20). She identifies five types of knowledge that we hold as your experience as a student, your autobiography, your beliefs, your experience working in schools, and media views on teaching (Pugach, 2009, p. 20). Pugach suggests that teaching is different from most professions, as we have all been students and witnessed teaching first hand (Pugach, 2009, p. 20). Above all she suggests that it is important to reflect on what we have learned about teaching and how we have learned it (Pugach, 2009, p. 20).
Pugach encourages reflection
Major Players in Provincial Education
Inspiring education was an initiative by the education minister in 2009 (Government of Alberta, 2014). We learned about this through both a speaker session, and the inspiring education document and video created by the government. This initiative involved meetings and discussions with stake-holders and ultimately lead to the creation of a new curriculum (Government of Alberta, 2014). The video created by the government discusses the need for education to keep up and evolve with our unpredictable future (Inspiring Education, 2013, May 26th).
Inspiring education video
Changing Paradigms in Education
In Sir Ken Robinsons' video "Changing Paradigms in Education" he focuses on the idea that our education system has become outdated (RSA, 2010). He suggests that we should reflect on what potential changes we could make to improve it (RSA, 2010). According to Ken Robinson, the current structure of schooling, that is, classes starting at the same time everyday and going for 8 hours, learning the same material, and so on is based off an industrial system created to train factory workers (RSA, 2010). This was essential during the Industrial Revolution, but our world has changed drastically and he suggests this is no longer the most effective model (RSA, 2014). Ken Robinson believes that education should be more personalized and suggests reforms similar to those in the new Alberta curriculum, that has come from the Inspiring Ed project (Government of Alberta, 2014). This view comes from the student centered side of the continuom described in Martin and Loomis (2007, 56).
Socialization and the Hidden Curriculum
Bullying and Teachers serving as agents of change
LGBTQ Bullying and Safe Space
Socialization and Social Justice
The inspiring education initiative has led to a new curriculum for Alberta, focusing on the "three E's" (Inspiring Education, 2013). The video focuses on the transition from teacher centered to student centered and reveals progressive opinions (Inspiring Education, 2013). This plan became a ministerial order in 2013 (Government of Alberta, 2013, December 16th). The "three E's" discussed are; engaged thinker, ethical citizen and entrepreneurial citizen (Government of Alberta, 2013, December 16th). These are the basis of the new curriculum, focusing on critical thinking, self and global awareness and individual motivation.
Curriculum Redesign Video
All of these professional identities help shape our individual beliefs and influence how we, as future teachers, will conduct ourselves in the classroom.
Tyler: For myself, education should be focused on a more individualistic approach as opposed to having to learn everything and anything despite not being interested in in the subject. Students should be taught to question everything and question societal norms that may have been taught to them. This will help shape personal identity and ensure that we have a well educated populace. For this reason I would position myself left side on the educational spectrum. However, l still believe that basics should be taught! I believe that a teacher should also be open minded and accepting of everyone and listen to all ideas as it may prove to provide valuable insight.
Ben: I believe that education is important for knowledge gathering and individual expression, it is essential that students understand what material means for them personally and to create engaged and inquisitive thinkers.
I believe that my credo really encompasses the things about education that I enjoyed the most as a student. There is essential knowledge that needs to be learned but it needs to be relatable or students won't understand why they should care. Caring is different and more important than knowing, especially in regards to my major (Social Studies.) The portion about engaged and inquisitive thinkers I feel strongly about as a secondary and social teacher as we are preparing the electorate for their introduction to the world. I want the young people of our future to go to the polls with knowledge and understanding and the best way to strengthen democracy is through knowledge.
Dr. Mark Yurick
Dr. Mark Yurick spoke to our class about the A.T.A.. The focus of his presentation was on what makes teaching a profession. He emphasized the six things that make a profession(Yurick, 2014). Firstly, you must hold a discrete body of knowledge that sets you apart from others, in teaching this is called pedagogy (Yurick, 2014). Secondly, a professional must have some sort of formal education, which in teaching is a university degree (Yurick,2014). Thirdly, a professional requires a large degree of autonomy, for example teachers should be able to work on their own and make their own decisions (Yurick, 2014). Fourth, to be a professional, one must also exhibit cooperation amongst other professionals (Yurick, 2014). This is especially true for teachers who require cooperation for the best education of students. Penultimately, the professional must have some sort of licensing, which you must have as a teacher (Yurick, 2014). Lastly, the professional must serve some higher social purpose, teachers do this through education and have a huge impact on shaping the world we live in (Yurick, 2014). Since teaching is clearly a profession, it needs a body to govern it, which for teachers is the ATA. This group is both a teacher's union and a support
Bullying continues to be an important issue in the school system. Today, with the presence of the internet and online anonymity, bullying is easier and continues even after school is over. In one of our class discussions, Professor Shewchuk asked the question: How many of you have experienced bullying in some way, whether it happened to you, a friend or you witnessed it as a bystander? (Shewchuk, personal communication, November 2014). Every single person in the class raised their hands. This demonstrates that it is a very real issue that exists in all schools. Professor Shewchuk also discussed the horrible consequences of bullying, from suicide to school shootings (Shewchuk, personal communication, November 2014).
Gerald Taylor writes about socialization and the hidden curriculum in "Education and Schooling" (1995). He also puts significant focus into the the distinction between education and schooling (Taylor, 1995, p. 73). He believes education is "intrinsically linked to socialization" (Taylor, 1995, p. 73). Many believe that the main focus of education is to reproduce society by turning children into adults (Taylor, 1995, p. 74). Taylor discusses the history of education and the rise of modern schooling, and believes that "the transmission of values and cultural ideals is just as central to the schools operation as it was in the past" (Taylor, 1995, p. 79). He importantly identifies a "hidden curriculum" within education (Taylor, 1995, p. 80). He believes that this is the "organizational features, rules, routines, and behavioral expectations" through which students are socialized (Taylor, 1995, p. 80).
Socialization and the concept of the hidden curriculum, described by Taylor (1995), are very important to learn about and consider as pre-service teachers. Socialization, in particular in relation to social justice, is discussed in Sensoy and Diangelo (2011). Further these ideas are present in Pugach's discussion of media influence on ideas of teaching (Pugach, 2009, p. 20). Respect for the socializing power of teachers is also present in Dewey's idea of reflective teaching (Grant and Zeichner, 1984, p. 105). The importance of acknowledging the socializing power of education is stressed by many writers.
Sensoy and DiAngelo discuss socialization in the modern context of social justice (2011). They serve to educate on today's issues regarding socialization and acknowledge socialized racism, sexism, and lgbtq issues (Sensoy & Diangelo, 2011, p. 14). They also use an extended metaphor of eyeglasses to discuss the importance of acknowledging your frame and lens of viewing (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2011, p. 21). You are influenced by your society, those around you and your individual identity and these create a lens through which you view society (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2011, p. 21). Our social group affects how we are socialized, and it is important to acknowledge the privelage dominant groups recieve (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2011, p. 22).
Public education in Canada is quite unique. According to Derek Allison et al. (1984) there are 4 major players in Alberta's education system. The first player is the Ministry of Education, this includes the Education Act which details the powers local educational authorities and the province. This includes providing the authority to set the licensing requirements for teachers, and authorizing new curriculum (Allison et al., 1984). The second major player is the local school boards. The school boards are responsible for a few things such as setting budgetary requirements, paying salaries to teachers, providing the schools, and modifying the curriculum (Allison et al., 1984). This means that school boards have significant local control but can't impact provincial change. The third major player is the ATA, or Alberta Teachers' Association which is a professional body responsible for safeguarding standards for teachers and protecting all teachers' rights in the province. This is a very important body to a teachers welfare and ensures all teachers are not abused or treated unfairly (Allison et al. 1984). The final and fourth player in Alberta 's education system according the Allison et al (1984), is colleges and universities. They are responsible for pre-service teacher education which is important as it ensures a discrete body of knowledge is provided to teachers as well as a degree (Alison et al., 1984). This final point ties in to Mark Yurick's idea of what makes a professional, and is important to effectively maintain professionalism in teaching (Yurick, 2014).
Some of Mark Yurick's idea's of what makes a professional can be tied into the major players in Alberta Education's.
Homophobia in simple terms, is fear of homosexuals and homosexual behavior. This is a relevant issue in schools and teachers must be attentive to police homophobic language, attitudes or actions. In class, we discussed the effects of bullying and homophobic slurs on the Columbine High School Massacre that occurred in 1999 in Littleton, Colorado was brought up (Shewchuk, personal communication, November 2014). In this instance two boys were bullied and frequently insulted with homophobic language (Shewchuk, personal communication, November 2014). This led to them killing 15 and injuring 24 in a devastating crisis (Shewchuk, personal communication, November 2014). According to Gerald Walton, this shooting led to school administrators implementing "Safe School" programs, however he believes that these programs ignore homophobic bullying, which should be our focus (2004, p. 24-25). Fortunately programs designed to promote anti-bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or LGBTQ youth are beginning to come into place. It is important for these programs to exist in all schools in Canada to promote feelings of acceptance and safety for LGBTQ youth.
Bullying is a huge problem and as teachers, we are in a position of power to help eliminate the problem. We acknowledge the importance of safe spaces and would be fully willing to set up or participate in gay-straight-alliances and other similar groups. The world of education has faced tragedy from bullying through suicide and school shootings and we need to make sure we acknowledge the harmful consequences of bullying. This issue needs to be taken seriously by teachers entering the profession. We believe that it is our obligation, not just as teachers, but as human beings to stand up for those who are bullied and promote a safe and caring environment.
LGBTQ Community Flag
All four topics of professional identity influence our Credo
Bullying is a Social Justice Issue
Both the ATA and the Provincial Government are major players in Alberta's education.
We believe that being a reflective teacher is essential. We must be open-minded because it is extremely important to listen to all sides and avoid generalization, especially in matters of race, sexuality or gender.
We will also exhibit significant influence as teachers, and we believe it is extremely important to realize this and reflect on how we utilize that power. Great power comes with great responsibility after all! The ability to think of all possible outcomes of any action is a very important attribute for a teacher to posses. Wholeheartedness, the idea that one should accept all students and provide opportunity for equal education, is self explanatory. We believe that as teachers, education is the most effective tool to create change in the world. Learning is a right and should be guaranteed to everyone, regardless of any other factors.
We believe that Mark Yurick's speaker session about the ATA and it's service to teachers was invaluable. In any profession especially one dealing with the public, it is very reassuring to know that an organization as big as the ATA provides countless resources to aid us in becoming better educators as well as ensuring no rights are violated. It was also quite informative in relaying what exactly makes teaching a profession which is important to know that not just anyone can can do it and
The main course objectives
Topics, readings, speaker sessions or lectures
Our own personal thoughts and reflections
Less obvious, in-direct connections
As future teachers who believe in the importance of student centered philosophies, from the philosophy continuum in Martin and Loomis (2014, p. 56), we believe that this is a great move for Alberta education. While we are concerned about how vague the "three E's" are, and we are not confident in how they will be assessed, we believe that they are important attributes for students. We are excited to see how this new curriculum will come into play in schools. We are excited to learn more about this as we move towards teaching.
We believe that it is always important to reflect, like Dewey taught us in Grant and Zeichner (1984). We consistently reflect on where we are and where we are going. I (Ben) always apply this to my own life and am pleased to see the conservative government take a non-conservative approach to education! It is exciting that the province decided to see how it could be better when it was already doing very well. Not everyone prepares for the future before it happens. We are excited to see what the future holds for us as teachers and are pleased that the government does not wish to be stagnant. Change in education is important, as the world is changing. Sir Ken Robinson suggested these ideas, and we thoroughly agree (RSA, 2010).
Reflection on ATA with reference to Mark Yurick's presentation
Educational philosophies were one of the first things we discussed in class this year and we believe that they play a huge part in your personal identity as a teacher. We both fall more on the student-centered side of the continuum. John Dewey is a huge inspiration for us, both in his focus on reflection and in his progressive ideology. We think that while different teaching styles differ based on personality, age of class and subject it is important to consider the student as the focus of education! We are very inspired by steps that the provincial government is taking towards student centered, progressive learning with the new curriculum (Government of Alberta, 2013).
As we have mentioned that we believe reflecting is important, we agree with Pugach in the suggestion that pre-service teachers need to consider and reflect on our current knowledge of teaching. Our knowledge is often inaccurate and we believe that we are aware that these beliefs can be dangerous if they lead to overconfidence! We also believe that it is important to consider how we form all of our beliefs, not just with regards to education. Knowledge construction is a fascinating topic.
We believe that it is important to have a balanced approach to teaching, there is some value within each psychology listed by Martin and Loomis. However, as teachers who believe the student should be the focus, we agree more with humanism than behaviorism. We believe it is important to treat students as humans and not as animals, like B.F. Skinners rats. In addition constructivism is important as students learn better when they build connections rather than just memorizing, as in info processing.
Balance of power
We find Sir. Ken Robinson's video fascinating. As critical thinkers we believe it is crucial to reflect on the effectiveness of our current system, whether or not that leads to change. We do not advocate for change as radical as he is proposing, as we do believe there are many valuable elements in the current system. However we believe in student-centered change, as evidenced by the shift in perspective happening in Alberta right now. We also find the RSA's animated video effective at communicating Sir. Ken Robinson's ideas with images.
-Pondering the issues
We believe that is important to take note of the hidden curriculum's advantages and disadvantages. While it is often construed as a negative force, we believe that it can and should be used in a positive sense. When a teacher is aware of their hidden curriculum and uses it for good it is a powerful force. We hope to convey a hidden curriculum of social justice, implicitly socializing children with respect for others. We hope this can use our hidden message to help eliminate bullying and prejudices and promote equality.
Reflection is a recurring theme in education, but also in our lives. We believe that understanding the frame and lens through which you view the world is essential. We acknowledge that we make up the majority group in most social categories described in Sensoy and DiAngleo ( ). However this does not make us immune to gender, sexual, or racial stigmas. We believe that it is important to both be aware of and combat these issues.
Homophobia is a significant issue in our society. We believe that as teachers, it will be our job to fight this problem and do all we can to eliminate it from our schools. This includes policing hateful speech, interfering in physical altercations, and teaching equality. If we aren't proactive in stopping this in it's tracks it can have serious detrimental effects like suicides in LGBTQ youth. Unfortunately homophobic behavior often stems from gender policing around tradition gender roles. We believe it is equally important to understand and eliminate these harmful gender roles.
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(Alberta Teacher's Association)
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As teachers we must equality for all regardless of race, sexuality, or gender
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Utilization of the hidden curriculum to promote anti bulling behavior and change.
Inspiring ed and the new curriculum reflect Sir Ken Robinson's suggestions
Tyler and Ben as students forming beliefs about teaching
The curriculum redesign is focused on personalizing education
Educational philosophy continuum and progressive attitudes in new curriculum come from Martin and Loomis
Cartoon of B.F. Skinner's rat, he was a famous behaviorist.